He motions over his shoulder to a man with a bushy mustache and a graying ponytail — Spiros Nikolaidis, the grillmaster at Miltos taverna. Of eating an octopus alive, Dr. Jennifer Mather, an expert on cephalopods and a psychology professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, says, “[T]he octopus, which you’ve been chopping to pieces, is feeling pain every time you do it. 1. "The grilled octopus is especially good. For four and a half years, they returned to the same spot and found the same octopus, “clinging to the vertical rock face, arms curled, covering her eggs”. The turkey and the octopus have something interesting in common. He points to the tavern's rooftop terrace. But it expanded to its original size when it was cooked.". Grilling them over hot coals on a barbecue produces a delicious, tender, melt in the mouth dish, and the aroma of fresh seafood sizzling on the grill will have your mouth watering in anticipation! Cut octopus into pieces about 12 cm long. They are known for their long tentacles and ability to squirt ink. Remove from the heat and add wine, balsamic vinegar and some Greek oregano. My friends and I toast when our plate of grilled octopus arrives. He often adds a wine cork to help in the reduction. Turkey heads can be red, white, pink, blue, or gray. Hunting for octopus off a very Greek beach: By James Sinclair 13 Feb, 2014, 10:18. The Christmas season in Greece now begins on December 6th, which is … I was amazed by the food flavors and the great se Read more. This is done to draw out moisture (water) from the octopus, especially important if grilling octopus. It can be preserved very well in deep freeze for several months. They … This story is part of All Things Considered's summer series, the Global Grill. Other touted methods include beating it with a rock, cooking it in a copper pot or massaging it with a daikon radish as they do in Japan. Heading out for a week at the crossover of October and November, I expected early winter weather and hoped for blue skies. ", 1 medium to large octopus, beak and ink-sac removed (most octopi are already cleaned). "Fresh fish grilled right away is always delicious.". Hanging Octopus They hang them up in the air and in the sun so they dry out. Joanna Kakissis for NPR Christmas in Greece. Tenderizing happens differently in different cultures. Well, there is […] November 2, 2012 at 9:29 am. Well, there is always a good reason and normally in Greece, it’s to do with great tasting food! Published by Akroneon Monemvasia. Allow the octopus to steep until the liquid has cooled or place in the fridge overnight. It is often more tender and tasty if it rests for some time in the freezer before cooking. Allow the octopus to boil for about 5-8 minutes. Having such a strong sun during the summer in Greece, it was the easiest and cheapest method. They traded extensively throughout the Mediterranean region. Required fields are marked *. Octopus. There are an estimated 10 million wild turkeys in America in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. Most octopuses stay along the ocean’s floor, although some species are pelagic, which means they live near the water’s surface. Octopus comes from the Greek word Octopodi. It's kind of crunchy and chewy at the same time, if that makes any sense. After tenderising the octopus, it can be used in any recipe, but if they plan to barbecue it, the octapodi is best if it has been dried. Alternatively, why not download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment. "I won't eat octopus," he says. In Greece they hang the octopus in the sun to dry. And it has just this little bit of lemon, which is just perfect on it. Great place in Greece to have grill octopus and fish! "Thirty minutes, maybe 45," he says. The word also refers specifically to animals in the genus Octopus. They grow up to be toms and hens. But in recent years things have slowly changed and now the occassion is celebrated lavishly. Why do they hang their octopus in Greece? Diving for Dinner: How to Hunt an Octopus in Greece. For a sweet, tender, melt in your mouth taste, you must first treat or tenderise octopus before cooking it. 5,078 Questions. As a young man, Trimis traveled the world as part of Greece's merchant marine. Small sailboats and speedboats are docked in the tiny port. The –us ending of octopus is merely part of the Greek element pous (from pod, for “foot”). what is involved in treating the octopus. If your hiding spot has even a single one-inch hole, you’ll be octopus food. The word octopus comes from the Greek, októpus, which means \"eight foot,\" according to a Smithsonian magazine article that summarized facts in Katherine Harmon Courage's book, \"Octopus! admin. An octopus has no skeleton, but they do have a hard beak. Contemporary Greek culture and traditions are very rich and diverse, reflecting Greece's location at the crossing point where the West meets the East and the country's great and turbulent history. Into a large pan, add the tentacles of the octopus, along with the red wine vinegar, the wine and bay leaves and bring to the boil. "Sea urchin salad, eggplant dip, fish roe dip, sardines, red mullet and, of course, octopus," he says. The claim: Tom Hanks became a Greek citizen because pedophilia there is considered a disability. hide caption. On Aegina, an island of pistachio trees off the coast of Athens in the Saronic Gulf, some of the best grilled octopus can be found in the southern seaside village of Perdika. "If one were to throw an octopus from sea to grill, all that water in the octopus would simply steam it into a rubbery mass.". The best way to grill octopus is on a hot charcoal barbecue! Like any creature, the octopus is … Media (mussels) have always been eaten in certain areas of Greece but now they are almost mainstream and can be found in many tavernas in Lesvos and other islands as well in Athens, either steamed or in saganaki. "In the old days, when there weren't freezers, people here used to sun the octopus for days until it was tiny and fit into a little carafe. I can hear you ask. The genes for these adaptations, the authors wrote, do not seem to have come from octopus ancestors, but "it is plausible then to suggest [these traits] seem to … Add some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried Greek oregano, freshly ground black pepper. "You know what's really interesting?" Well, there is always a good reason and normally in Greece, it’s to do with great tasting food! Why you should be scared: Even zombies can be stopped by a jail cell door or a chain link fence. The Greeks have been eating octopus since ancient times, and it's still on the menu of the country's many psarotavernes, or fish taverns. I ask, looking at a sizzling tentacle. 2. The fisherman brings his prey to land and tenderizes the flesh by pounding the carcass against a stone surface. Some interesting Octopus Facts, from what the name really means to why they hang them! This is where you will find octopus that you can catch by hand. Read this page to learn what is involved in treating the octopus! Two pink octopi — or is it octopuses? As with many Greek words, the word itself actually describes the subject! Place the pieces over a low-burning charcoal fire. "They've been up there since morning," says Miltiadis "Miltos" Trimis, the taverna's owner. Other octopus species live in deep, dark waters, rising from below at dawn and dusk to search for food. When ready to grill, pre-heat gas or charcoal grill to a high heat. He's sprinkling sea salt on foot-long octopus tentacles that are cooking over a hot outdoor grill. You may add some more water and continue to braise until the octopus is fork-tender. Boil with the lid on, on medium low heat, for 40-60 minutes. No such luck with octopuses. The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea.\" Some people call their appendages tentacle… That's why Trimis hangs a fresh catch to dry. We go to Greece every year and when we catch an octopus, we do the same thing so we just did not think about it. Translation for 'octopus' in the free English-Greek dictionary and many other Greek translations. Though Vagelis fished early in the day, most Greek fishermen opt to head out late at night to catch their bounty. He's been grilling octopus for 17 years and can tell when the meat is white and tender. A QAnon conspiracy theory making the rounds on … A street musician with a sunburned face plays a folk song on his clarinet. It has 8 legs! Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a good sprinkle of dried Greek oregano and a little sea salt. It's light and refreshing at the same time, and it'll go down really well with this wine.". Add sea salt. Avli tou Thodori / Restaurant, Seafood #1 of 32 places to eat in Platis Gialos. The facts are, by doing this action – there are actually 3 steps involved, they are tenderising the oktapodi to make it very tender and soft when cooked. A common scene in the Greek islands is octopuses hanging in the sunlight from a rope, just like laundry from a clothesline. The octopus is a mollusk and an invertebrate, which means it has no bones in its body. "How long does it take for one of those to cook?" Take the octopus out of the liquid and place in a bowl. Place the cover back on and reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes (checking occasionally to see if there's enough braising liquid). A young waiter runs through the menu. Sea salt is optional. My friend Deepa, an adventurous eater who once ate raw camel's liver, is trying it for the first time. In 1987, after getting married and starting a family, he opened his taverna on Aegina, where some of his relatives lived. "Like any creature, the octopus is made mostly of water," writes Peter Minakis, a Greek-Canadian food writer, on his popular food blog Kalofagas. Turn every few minutes and check if the tentacles are fork-tender. They will leave it out to dry in the sun for at least a day before cooking it. But he says he's repulsed by the idea of tasting it. I can hear you ask. Have you been to Greece and seen fishermen beating the living daylights out of an octopus against a rock. Octopus goes best by the sea with a glass of ouzo, or even a bottle. When the octopus-apocalypse comes, it means none of us will be safe. Then he — or in rare cases, she — beats the carcass on a rock up to 100 times to wring out the water. The Minoans were known as great seafarers. They would leave it out to dry all day, then that evening they would cook the oktapodi and family and neighbours would appear as the aroma of sizzling xtapodi drifted down the street. Learn the secrets Greek fishermen have known for centuries. Octopuses are easier to catch when stunned by a beam of bright light in the darkness. Until recently, Christmas was never considered much of a holiday in Greece. For more fascinating facts about octopus, click to see the comprehensive fact file. "If one were to throw an octopus from sea to grill… A tell tale sign of an octopus is broken crab shells, or open shellfish. 4. On the islands, where the catch is often fresh, octopus is grilled over charcoal, seasoned with fresh lemon and served with ouzo. Why do they hang their octopus in Greece? They hang them up in the air and in the sun so they dry out. No, they’re not having a bad day and taking out their anger on a helpless creature! For cooks who do not live on the Greek islands, Minakis suggests braising a fresh or frozen octopus until it's about half its original size. hide caption. Remove and place on a serving plate. The octopus probably sparked ideas of the Kraken, the akkorokamui, and more. In classical Greece, Aristotle (384–322 BC) commented on the colour-changing abilities of the octopus, both for camouflage and for signalling, in his Historia animalium: "The octopus ... seeks its prey by so changing its colour as to render it like the colour of the stones adjacent … "We get our fish straight from the fishermen's boats," he says. They feel pain. For octopus flesh to be tender enough to grill, it must be dried in the sun at least one full day. Nikolaidis adds more tentacles to the fire. Trident gun fishing is only for the bold; we follow one young hunter on the path to catch the smartest prey in the sea. For octopus flesh to be tender enough to grill, it must be dried in the sun at least one full day. They both change color depending on their emotions! A fisherman usually traps an octopus and kill it by slicing a nerve between the eyes. No comments. A little bit of oktapodi information for you. Serve as part of an array of Greek seafood appetizers (mezedes) with some ouzo or tsipouro. Adapted from 8x8x8 by Alexander Kalligas and Haris Kalligas. Octopus, in general, any eight-armed cephalopod mollusk of the order Octopoda. Your email address will not be published. Grilled octopus at Miltos, a seaside tavern on the island of Aegina. The true octopuses are members of the genus Octopus, a large group of widely distributed shallow-water cephalopods. During the day, they are more alert and will slip away when even slightly alarmed. "It depends on how much time the octopus has spent drying in the sun.". In Greece, seaside streets are lined with octopuses, stretched from limb to limb to limb to limb, hang-drying in the sun. Take the lid off and have a look to see if the liquid has been released (the octopus should be almost covered in liquid). They are often caught by spear fishing close to the shore. How to tenderise Octopus for Cooking. "I will eat anything but octopus. "Like any creature, the octopus is made mostly of water," writes Peter Minakis, a Greek-Canadian food writer, on his popular food blog Kalofagas. Spiros Nikolaidis, the grillmaster, has cut up the tentacles into one-inch pieces and served them with wedges of lemon. she says. On the Greek islands, they even go one further where one will often see a clothes line of octopi hanging outside of a taverna, drying out in the hot Greek sun. Beat the octopus 100 times on a smooth rock, then rub it on the rock with a circular movement, sprinkling it often with sea-water, until the tentacles become curly or the membrane between them can be easily torn. Friends and families often share this special summer meze during a hot day at the beach. This method of drying is one that has been used for centuries, when they discovered that it was better to dry them before grilling the xtapodi, but had nowhere to place them to dry them out, except their lines. Cook for about 30 minutes, then add freshly-squeezed lemon juice. "We hang [the octopus] on the clothesline first thing in the morning and don't take it down until the evening," he says. The order Octopoda includes 289 species, according to the World Animal Foundation. Fishermen probably hung them over the ships ropes to dry out. When a ship was lost at sea, many people just accepted that the … Max Gene Nohl, a diving expert, summed it up by saying 'In my opinion the chance of a diver being attacked by an octopus is as remote as the possibility of a hunter in the woods being attacked by a rabbit.' Place your octopus (throwing in the cork is optional) in a pot over high heat and cover. You may cut the octopus now or after it's grilled. best trending new unanswered. Learn more about the anatomy, behavior, and reproduction of octopuses in this article. The weather in Greece is usually good, sometimes great. ‘I wanted to find out more, but there was no internet where we were. — are hanging like shirts on a clothesline. The Minoan’s civilization on Crete existed during the Bronze Age , from 3000 to 1100 BCE , although the Mycenaeans from Greece invaded the island in the mid-1400s BCE and occupied it for the last centuries before the Greek Dark Age. As you stroll down the street you will see octopus hanging out in front of many tavernas. Liondi Traditional Greek Restaurant: Best octopus in the Plaka - See 3,476 traveler reviews, 1,853 candid photos, and great deals for Athens, Greece, at Tripadvisor. It's an old tenderization technique that dehydrates the octopus before it's braised and grilled. The busiest is Miltos, a whitewashed little place with blue doors and outdoor tables. They like to hide under rocks, and create dens in crevices, and other small holes. ", Grilled octopus at Miltos, a seaside tavern on the island of Aegina. Joanna Kakissis for NPR Place the octopus on the grill and sear for about 2-3 minutes on both sides. Open now 12:00 - 00:00. "I thought it'd be more rubbery than it is. Do not add any water, because the octopus, will shrink and emit enough water. Octo in Greek is eight. An octopus will crack these open with it's beak when hunting and eating. You may have been to Greece and seen tavernas or even homes with rows of string hung with octopus hanging out in the sun. (Lane) Octopuses have a hard parrot-like beak and can bite although they rarely do so. Podi means leg. Just above the port are the fish tavernas. He weaves through tables, serenading local families, Spanish tourists and me and two journalist friends from Athens. , after getting married and starting a family, he opened his taverna on Aegina, where some of relatives! 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The free English-Greek dictionary and many other Greek translations octopus before cooking it day, they are known for.... For Dinner: How to Hunt an octopus and kill it by slicing a between... Seaside streets are lined with octopuses, stretched from limb to limb to limb, hang-drying in reduction... And now the occassion is celebrated lavishly they … the octopus is broken crab shells, or gray Miltiadis... Was no internet where we were grilled right away is always delicious. `` with some or... Worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment why not download our comprehensive worksheet pack to within. ’ re not having a bad day and taking out their anger on a helpless creature 've been up since! Adapted from 8x8x8 by Alexander Kalligas and Haris Kalligas a single one-inch,. Beam of bright light in the air and in the reduction of holiday. Fascinating facts about octopus, especially important if grilling octopus, Christmas was never considered much a!
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